Why quick-charge electric vehicles are perfect for the military

The silence of electric vehicles are perfect for covert operations, and the cost benefits on military bases could be enormous. 

Gary Broome/AP/File
An electric/hybrid vehicle charges at a public charging station in Chapel Hill, N.C. The US military base on Fort Carson, Colo. is beginning to experiment with electric vehicle fleets.

In theory, the silence of electric vehicles makes them perfect for military use.

What better for covert operations than a vehicle that generates very little noise? The Canadian military would probably agree.

Silent vehicles aren't quite as critical on military bases, but that's where the cost benefits come in. The U.S. Army has already explored microgrid technology at Fort Carson in Colorado, and now that same base has adopted quick charging technology for a small fleet of vehicles.

According to Charged EVs, Fort Carson has installed five bidirectional fast-charging stations, allowing them to run a fleet of Boulder Electric Vehicle and Smith Electric plug-in trucks.

The chargers use SAE-standard J1772-compliant connections, allowing the trucks to supply charge back to the grid in a power outage. As part of Fort Carson's microgrid--including diesel generators and solar power--the system allows the base to be energy-independent from the civilian grid.

The charging points have been developed by the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and Missouri-based Burns and McDonnell Engineering, as part of the 'SPIDERS' project. This stands for Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security, and the upshot is a system capable of delivering 300 kW, and battery discharging of 60 kW.

Naturally, when not powering the base the chargers allow the small fleet of trucks to go about their daily business on very little energy--according to Smith Electric, its trucks cost one half to one third the average diesel equivalent.

Should such projects prove successful on bases like Fort Carson, it's easy to see them being used further afield too--potentially even in warzones.

[Hat tip: Brian Henderson]

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Why quick-charge electric vehicles are perfect for the military
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today